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LEADING OFF: Familia returns, Valdez back in majors

21 April 2017

Familia returns to the Mets on Thursday, April 20, after sitting out the first 15 games of the season while serving a domestic violence suspension.

The slumping Maikel Franco and Tommy Joseph each broke out with big games Thursday, when right-hander Hector Neris earned his first save of the season by throwing a ideal ninth to close out the Phillies' 6-4 win over the Mets at Citi Field.

NY manager Terry Collins said before the game that he originally planned to ease Familia back into action but, with a worn-down bullpen, "that may not be the case tonight" against Philadelphia.

"Other than that, everything is great. But I if the opportunity arises, I'd like to get him out there for at least a short period of time".

Familia said he appreciated the reception.

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Familia spoke to the media before the game. He could rejoin the team Friday.

NY manager Terry Collins said he'd originally planned to ease Familia back into action but, with a worn-down bullpen, "that may not be the case tonight" against Philadelphia. Collins summoned last season's Major League Baseball saves leader for the ninth Thursday.

Mets: Collins said he didn't have any definitive word on how long Duda (hyperextended left elbow), Flores (infection) and d'Arnaud (bruised right wrist) would be out. "Good velocity, good sink". He said he took around 25 swings.

Familia, 27, led the majors with a team-record 51 saves a year ago. He was suspended for an October incident and lost some $730,000 of his $7.24 million salary.

"I'm very happy to be back with this team", he said. The bullpen's five losses overall were tied for most. Collins said he would like to get Familia into a game right away, but the right-hander might be eased back in with a setup role at first. He won't get back to his usual ningh inning spot immediately, though.

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"I look forward to just helping my team out in any capacity, in any role, in any situation", he said.

Familia took part in spring training and recently pitched two scoreless innings in the minors while preparing for his return.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Michael Conforto had two hits apiece for the Mets. "It's still a little sore, but tomorrow I'll be ready and ready to be back in action".

New York Mets' Noah Syndergaard delivers a pitch during the first inning of the team's baseball game against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday, April 20, 2017, in New York.

"Any time you get a couple hits, you like to keep it going with consistent at-bats", Joseph said.

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LEADING OFF: Familia returns, Valdez back in majors